PUBLISHED : Friday, 17 January, 2003, 12:00am
UPDATED : Friday, 17 January, 2003, 12:00am

Ah Lung, better known as 'Righteous Hero' to his online friends, spends up to 12 hours a day battling dark forces on the Internet.

He admits being addicted to online computer games but does not believe his habit does him any harm.

Ah Lung finds it strange that someone could die playing a computer game. As far as he is concerned, death exists mainly in the world of virtual reality.

'I stop to eat or to go to the toilet,' Ah Lung said. Those breaks aside, he is engrossed from 3pm to 3am most days in the cyber-realm of 'Stone Age', his favourite game.

Ah Ho, 17, known as 'Disney' in cyber-circles, reckons he has kicked the habit.

He started playing computer games to make friends and achieved just that - at least half his friends are people he met over the Internet.

'It helps you to meet people and make friends,' he said. 'You also get a sense of achievement as you progress through the more difficult stages of each game.'

But now that he has a job, Ah Lung says he has less time for computer games. 'I still manage to spend up to four hours a day online though,' he said.